OUSD Honor Band takes a knee while playing National Anthem at A's game

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- This weekend Oakland Athletics Rookie Bruce Maxwell became the first major league baseball player to take a knee. Monday night the Oakland Unified School District Honor Band did the same.

RELATED: Alameda High School students take a knee for National Anthem

"People get to see what we're thinking because everybody has their own opinion to stuff and it's not just adults that are thinking this it's everybody who has an opinion," said Kayla Bowie, band member.

The Oakland Unified School district honor band took a knee while playing the National Anthem.

"They're at an age where they don't have a lot of power cause they can't vote and they're just watching what's happening, but they're also old enough to know what's going on," said Edie Hirsh, band member parent.

President Donald Trump said NFL players should stand for the national anthem or be fired, referencing former 49er Colin Kaepernick. Students are upset about the president's rhetoric, the violence in Charlottesville, and other issues some may consider too mature for children.

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"We wanted to say that what he's saying is not ok," explained Bodhi Hirsch, band member, when asked why he took a knee.

"My kids come home and they talk a lot about what's going on in the world with our current administration and even my 9-year-old son has a lot to say and it's just amazing," said Manik Bowie, band member parent.

The band first took a knee last year when Kaepernick started the protest.

"Last year about two thirds of the kids took a knee during the national anthem any of the musicians had ever taken a knee that we're aware of across the nation," said OUSD Director of Visual and Performing Arts Phil Rydeen.

RELATED: Hall of Famer Jim Brown discusses Colin Kaepernick's decision to take a knee

A few band members remained standing tonight. Participation is voluntary.

"There's nobody out there telling them what to do they're going with their conscience," said Hirsch.

The A's released the following statement regarding tonight's protest: We respect these students' right to express themselves.
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